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Old 05-25-08, 09:17 AM   #1
GRedner
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Race report: Almost wrecked, busted a wheel, DNF

I did the Wells Ave C race today. It was a pretty small and fast race, and I was feeling good.

Trouble started with about three (maybe four?) laps to go. I was in the middle of the pack, and we had just rounded an uphill right-hand corner. The pack accordioned forwards (as it usually does in this spot). I found myself suddenly pinched on both sides.

Then the rider in front of me tapped his brakes and drifted left. We crossed wheels, and things got fuzzy.

I remember the sensation of riding a machine with pogo sticks (or maybe jackhammers) instead of wheels. I must have hit the riders to my left and right (I confirmed this by asking around after the race), but I don't remember it at all. The bike bucked like mad and shimmied back and forth for about three seconds. I was sure I was about to go down, but the bucking stopped suddenly and I found myself upright, still moving forwards.

I could tell my rear wheel was busted - it was shaking and rubbing the brake pads. I tried to wave the field around me, and I pulled over. It turned out the wheel was rubbing not just the pads but the frame, and badly enough that it wouldn't roll. So, I picked up the bike and did a half mile walk-of-shame back to the line.

I had a spoke wrench in my pack, and I took a shot at forcing the wheel back into good enough shape to get me home (about 7 miles away). Leo (ldesfor1@ithaca) was there, and he generously offered to give it a try as well. As it turned out, our efforts were wasted - at least five drive-side spoke holes were cracked, and there are only 12 drive-side spokes. Cue taps for the wheel. At that point I called home for an automotive rescue.

In retrospect, I can't decide how much of the fault lies with me. On one hand, the guy in front braked and drifted with a very tight pack around him. On the other hand, I was only a couple of inches behind him at the time - too close for a C race, and too close for a part of the course where the pack tends to compress unpredictably.

In any case, the only injuries were to my wheel. I'm going to give the experience some time to sink in, and hopefully I'll learn a thing or two from it. I realize that I was incredibly lucky not to have crashed, and that I certainly cannot count on luck to keep me safe in the future. I'll definitely be a bit more cautious next time.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:18 AM   #2
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for the C race... i think anyone can do a solo breakaway as long as they put their mind to it
so much safer
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Old 05-25-08, 12:28 PM   #3
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Congrats on staying up. That's pretty good handling at that speed with a busted wheel.
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Old 05-25-08, 01:24 PM   #4
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Good to see you, but sorry about the wheel.

I could have been a lot worse and I'm glad it wasn't.

Good to see you out there, Gabe.

-Leo
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Old 05-26-08, 12:57 PM   #5
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Yep I was right behind that and thought I was landing on top of you guys! It was a defenite hairy moment..but glad everything is ok. Good C race for the most part aside from a few small issues. Congrats to my teamate who took the win...I ended up in a sprint for 2nd right on his wheel (think I was 3rd). Good news is that was number 10 and with multiple top 5 finishes I am ready to attack the B's....
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Old 05-26-08, 03:31 PM   #6
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you rubbed wheels with the guy in front of you, and your rear wheel cracked 5 spoke holes?

Sounds like your rear wheel let loose at the worst possible moment, are you saying that there was an impact in the peloton that somehow caused it?
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Old 05-26-08, 06:53 PM   #7
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Maybe edesros168 can shed more light on what happened exactly - for me, everything was a blur between crossing wheels and eventually regaining control.

I spoke to somebody who said that I hit a curb on my right with my rear wheel while I was swerving. This doesn't entirely make sense, since I thought there was another rider on my right, but maybe I slowed down enough while swerving that he ended up in front of me, and I bashed into the curb behind him.

That said, there wasn't any visible damage (scratches etc.) to the outside of the rim. Maybe the damage was just done by the rear wheel skidding sideways across the pavement. Unfortunately, I don't have the wheel anymore to do a better examination. I got it replaced today, and after carrying the bike a few miles to the shop, I was not about to lug home the busted wheel just to satisfy my curiosity!
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Old 05-26-08, 06:54 PM   #8
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One other piece of info - three of the cracked spoke holes were adjacent to each other. The other two were on the opposite side of the rim, as though the wheel had tacoed kinda-symmetrically.
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Old 05-27-08, 05:56 AM   #9
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GRedner, You did indeed rub the outside curb to the right! It happened so fastthat it was a blurr to me as well, but I remember you 2 getting caught up and a loud noise. The guy on the left screamed "what are you doing man?" as you swerved to the right and unclipped while managing to stay upright dragging against the curb!. I remember thinking ...Nice SAVE! I knew something happened to your bike with that noise. How old was the wheel?
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Old 05-27-08, 09:50 AM   #10
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The wheel was about three years old, and came stock with the bike. It didn't owe me anything.

In retrospect, the guy yelling at me seems kind of funny. "What am I doing?? I'm trying like hell to stay upright, that's what I'm doing!!"
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Old 05-27-08, 10:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GRedner View Post
I did the Wells Ave C race today. It was a pretty small and fast race, and I was feeling good.

Trouble started with about three (maybe four?) laps to go. I was in the middle of the pack, and we had just rounded an uphill right-hand corner. The pack accordioned forwards (as it usually does in this spot). I found myself suddenly pinched on both sides.

Then the rider in front of me tapped his brakes and drifted left. We crossed wheels, and things got fuzzy.

I remember the sensation of riding a machine with pogo sticks (or maybe jackhammers) instead of wheels. I must have hit the riders to my left and right (I confirmed this by asking around after the race), but I don't remember it at all. The bike bucked like mad and shimmied back and forth for about three seconds. I was sure I was about to go down, but the bucking stopped suddenly and I found myself upright, still moving forwards.

I could tell my rear wheel was busted - it was shaking and rubbing the brake pads. I tried to wave the field around me, and I pulled over. It turned out the wheel was rubbing not just the pads but the frame, and badly enough that it wouldn't roll. So, I picked up the bike and did a half mile walk-of-shame back to the line.

I had a spoke wrench in my pack, and I took a shot at forcing the wheel back into good enough shape to get me home (about 7 miles away). Leo (ldesfor1@ithaca) was there, and he generously offered to give it a try as well. As it turned out, our efforts were wasted - at least five drive-side spoke holes were cracked, and there are only 12 drive-side spokes. Cue taps for the wheel. At that point I called home for an automotive rescue.

In retrospect, I can't decide how much of the fault lies with me. On one hand, the guy in front braked and drifted with a very tight pack around him. On the other hand, I was only a couple of inches behind him at the time - too close for a C race, and too close for a part of the course where the pack tends to compress unpredictably.

In any case, the only injuries were to my wheel. I'm going to give the experience some time to sink in, and hopefully I'll learn a thing or two from it. I realize that I was incredibly lucky not to have crashed, and that I certainly cannot count on luck to keep me safe in the future. I'll definitely be a bit more cautious next time.
Dude you were in the WestXXXX? multi sports kit if so I might have started next to you! I was the guy on the yellow bike, unattached.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:31 AM   #12
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Dude you were in the WestXXXX? multi sports kit if so I might have started next to you! I was the guy on the yellow bike, unattached.
Nope, I was in a blue/white/orange jersey that said "VMware" on it.
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Old 05-27-08, 12:15 PM   #13
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Cool. I remember seeing you (mostly because I was wondering what the hell VMware was sponsoring a team for ). Will say hi next time around.

Sucks about the wheel. I hope to be back in a couple of weeks time.
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Old 05-27-08, 12:29 PM   #14
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If only they would sponsor a team. All they did was subsidize the jerseys!
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